Kyle Hendricks (12-7, 2.19 ERA) and Chad Kuhl (3-1, 3.50 ERA) take the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (83-47) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (67-62) at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the last game 8-7, and Chicago leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 8:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 30 and can be seen on WGN, RTPT and MLBN.
Hendricks pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out eight and walking two in a 6-3 win over the Padres. Kris Bryant (.305, 109 Rs, 35 HRs, 89 RBIs, 8 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with two runs. Kuhl went 6.1 innings, surrendering two runs, striking out five and walking two in a 3-2 win over the Brewers in his last outing. David Freese (.273, 55 Rs, 12 HRs, 49 RBIs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run.
This one isn't expected to be close when Chicago, a big -215 favorite, takes on Pittsburgh. The Cubs have recorded an overall money line of +160 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 77-38. Chicago has had an impressive season against division opponents, earning 32-14 and 34-16 records as the favorite and SU, respectively. The Cubs have seen an uptick in scoring against teams inside their division, averaging 6.0 runs per game. They average 5.1 runs per game on the season. Chicago leads the whole NL in walks, earning an average of 4.0 per game. Opposing batters know they're in for a battle when they play Chicago. The Cubs are the top team when it comes to pitching, allowing a league-low 3.4 runs per game. The Cubs are the top team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.120 so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Cubs, who rank third in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.9.
In games where it is the underdog, Pittsburgh has a 30-26 record and an overall money line of +226. They are 8-11 as the underdog against teams in their division, and 25-24 SU. Offensively, the Pirates have really sputtered in division games. They have decreased their season average of 4.5 runs per game by averaging 4.1 in those contests. The Pirates allow 4.4 runs per game, but have improved upon those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 3.3 runs per game during that span.
The Cubs have controlled the season series, 10-3. The Cubs have a 55-33 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Kuhl takes the mound. Hendricks (RHP) will be on the hill against the Pirates, who have a 49-53 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
The Cubs sit at 35-16 against division rivals, while the Pirates have an even 25-25 record against their foes.
For the 19th time this season, the Cubs registered at least two errors in a game.
The Cubs managed to give up six walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Pirates who are coming in with a 9-7 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Cubs are 7-28. The Pirates have a 16-48 record when opponents outhit them.
Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of the league at 26th when it comes to home runs, hitting 123 this season. Chicago ranks in the top half with 165.
Chicago and Pittsburgh both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. Chicago sits at seventh with 8.75 hits per game and Pittsburgh ranks sixth with 8.77.
Ranking 18th, Pittsburgh is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.733). Chicago ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .781.
The Pirates are 36-49 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cubs are 43-38 when they allow at least one homer.